Volunteer grants are an excellent opportunity to make the most out of growing your volunteer program and receive funds for your cause. Only a few nonprofits take full advantage of these grants simply because they don't know how simple it is.
If you collaborate with corporations that support volunteer programs for their employees, you have a chance to receive a volunteer grant. By monitoring your volunteers and exploring corporate volunteer grant programs, you can receive consistent grants to support your cause.
Let's take a closer look at what volunteer nonprofit grants are all about and how to tap into this impressive resource.
What Is a Volunteer Grant?
A volunteer grant is a gift a corporation gives to a nonprofit where its employees volunteer their time regularly. Today, 40% of Fortune 500 companies offer volunteer grants.
To have an opportunity to source corporate volunteer grants, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Your volunteer (or several volunteers) needs to work for a corporation.
- A corporation needs to have a program for nonprofit grant donations
- You need to know how to request a volunteer grant
Corporations may have different requirements for nonprofits to qualify for a donation. Usually, there is a minimum of hours that volunteers need to contribute to the nonprofit within a year. The corporations compensate for these hours in the form of a donation to the nonprofit.
Let's say you have five volunteers from one corporation who dedicate 5 hours a week for a year. That's 5x5x52 = 1300 hours. The corporation pays $10 per volunteer hour. So, by the end of the year, you can receive a check for 1300x10 = $13,000.
Another scheme is payment after volunteers dedicate a certain number of hours. For example, Bank of America donates $500 when its employee volunteers at least 50 hours a year. However, they cap the donation at $1,000 per year.
The majority of nonprofits don't leverage nonprofit grant donations. Meanwhile, volunteers themselves may not know that their employer is offering these grants. Besides volunteer grants, these donation programs can have different names, including Dollars for Doers.
By digging deeper into the subject, you have an opportunity to receive sizable contributions regularly.
The Key Benefits of Volunteer Grants
Corporate volunteer grants can provide significant benefits for all parties involved, including companies, nonprofits, and volunteers themselves.
- Corporations – corporate volunteer grant programs allow companies to reinforce their values and position themselves as industry leaders who care for an important cause. The money corporations spend on nonprofit grants is an investment in their brand image.
- Volunteers – volunteer donations can only do so much to support a cause. However, by initiating nonprofit grant donations, volunteers make a larger contribution. This makes their time with the nonprofit much more impactful.
- Nonprofits – besides receiving financial support, your nonprofit strengthens the relationship with volunteers and streamlines volunteer retention. When volunteers know how sizable their contribution is, they are more likely to continue providing it. Meanwhile, you can improve the relationship with corporate supporters of your cause and secure their participation in nonprofit fundraising events.
Corporate volunteer grant programs boost the value of volunteering and make a significant contribution to the cause.
How to Receive Volunteer Donations and Grants
Many nonprofits don't know about volunteer grants while others don't have time to tap into them. While you are busy writing fundraising letters, you could be missing a great source of financial support. To take advantage of it, you need to take these steps.
Find Out Which Companies Offer Volunteer Grant Donations
Many corporations have grant programs that support a variety of causes. You are probably already working with some of them to source volunteers. In this win-win partnership, the company encourages employee volunteering in exchange for improving its brand image while the nonprofit gets the help it needs.
Not all corporate volunteer grant programs are the same. Some companies may be more generous than others. Find out what your partners offer. Then you can explore other opportunities and find the one that suits you best.
Important tip: Check the conditions of the grant program carefully. Many of them have such nuances as minimum hour requirements or donation caps.
Educate and Empower Your Volunteers
Make sure volunteers know about this excellent addition to their volunteer donations. Start educating all volunteers about the grant possibility during the onboarding phase.
The volunteer is responsible for filing an application to their employer with a request for nonprofit grant donations. They can check their eligibility for this program and submit a relevant request.
To do all this, volunteers need to have a full understanding of the opportunity. It's up to you to make the process as seamless as possible.
Besides providing information, you can arrange easy hour tracking. For example, you could create log sheets that reflect grant requirements. This way, volunteers can see how many hours they have to contribute to maximize their volunteer donation.
Streamline Volunteer and Corporate Relationships
To keep grants coming regularly, you need to invest in relationships with your volunteers and the corporations they work for. You can do that by providing transparent information about your cause.
Always create comprehensive reports that show both volunteers and their employers how useful the grant was for your organization. The more you communicate with these donors, the more likely they are to continue working with your nonprofit.
Tapping Into Nonprofit Volunteer Grant Opportunities
Volunteer grants are an important part of successful nonprofit operations. By taking advantage of this opportunity, you don't just support your cause. You strengthen volunteer relationships and build corporate partnerships.
To leverage volunteer grants, you need to educate and support your volunteers. That's where a comprehensive volunteer management platform comes in. Galaxy Digital solution can help you organize your volunteer teams and make it easy for them to request extra support from employers.
To learn more about this opportunity, please check out our free demo today.